Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

May 15, 2015

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe

Buffalo Harbor Ready for Season

All parking will remain free this summer

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today welcomed visitors to Buffalo Harbor State Park on the Buffalo Outer Harbor, where the first phase of a $15 million transformation will be complete by Memorial Day and parking will remain free throughout the summer.

"We are very excited to be a part of Governor Cuomo's transformation of the Buffalo region, and look forward to welcoming visitors to a re-energized waterfront," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "The work completed so far will be a great sign of what we can achieve in renewing Buffalo's outstanding waterfront."

  • Patrons to the state's newest park this summer will see $3 million in improvement projects completed, including:
  • Two open-air picnic pavilions that can host 100 people in each pavilion; Pavilions may be rented for use by calling the park office at 828-0027.
  • A nautically themed destination playground.
  • New park furnishings, including benches and trash receptacles Improved lighting and walkways, landscaping and general utility upgrades.

All parking in the park's lots will remain free this summer. State Parks will evaluate parking usage patterns this season to determine how to best accommodate all marina, restaurant and general park patrons. Those launching boats will continue to pay $7 but the Empire Passport and other park passes will be accepted.

Additionally, several special events will take place this summer including the second "Sky's the Limit" festival featuring kite flying, hot air balloon displays, arts and crafts and a sky themed family movie to be held on Friday, July 24 in partnership with Tifft Nature Preserve. Additionally, the annual "Carly's Crossing" benefit for Roswell Park Cancer Institute will be held on August 12 and a series of adaptive paddle sport events will be held throughout the summer. Details on all events can be found at Throughout the summer, park visitors are welcome to sunbathe on the sand at Gallagher Beach this year and launch watercraft into Lake Erie.

Following Labor Day, State Parks will start work on the next steps of development which includes the structural rehabilitation of both the marina break wall and the southern revetment. This work will include paving of the break wall and furnishing it with lighting, shade structures and benches, making it an exciting new place for walkers, bikers and fishermen.

Safe Harbor Development, the private concessionaire operating the 1,037 slip Safe Harbor Marina at Buffalo Harbor State Park, also announced that slip holders at the state's largest marina can expect several upgrades this year including Wi-Fi, improved trash collection methods, new landscaping and fresh paint. Over the next five years, Safe Harbor is required to spend a minimum of $8 million and long term plans include new docks, updated comfort stations, a new restaurant, increased electrical and water service for boats and parking reconfiguration.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 62 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.